The best way to create your baby’s bedtime routine—and get more sleep too 💤

Bonus: Bedtime is primed for lots of sweet snuggles!

The best way to create your baby’s bedtime routine—and get more sleep too 💤

As a new parent, bedtime probably feels a little less structured than you hoped it would be. The days tend to blur together into a series of feedings and unpredictable sleep times—often leaving bedtime to fluctuate daily and making routine feel nearly impossible.

And although your baby likely sleeps an average of 17 to 20 hours per day during the first few months of his life, it is not the type of consolidated sleep that would allow for a full night's rest for either of you.

You might think: What is the point of going through a bedtime routine if my baby will just be awake in an hour?

I hear you, mama. And I just want to reassure you that establishing a bedtime routine with your baby will make a difference.

Even at a young age, your baby is starting to form her own sleep habits. Around 3 months of age, your baby will start to sleep in longer stretches (?) and be able to distinguish daytime and nighttime sleep—which makes it an optimal time to think about introducing a bedtime routine.

When babies have consistency and a sense of what’s coming next, it can help them feel secure and therefore primed to doze off. (Not to mention that bedtime routines are prime opportunities for snuggles and bonding!)

Here’s what to keep in mind as you establish a bedtime routine for your baby:

Ease in

There is no need to implement every “best sleep practice” at once. You might find your baby doesn't respond to each part of the routine the way you expect. Try to be patient with yourself and with your baby during this process—which will likely take weeks to establish. And, even then, your baby is one growing machine, so the bedtime routine will naturally continue to evolve.

Choose a bedtime that fits into your baby's current sleep cycle

Your child will usually start to show signs she is feeling sleepy—such as rubbing her eyes, fussing or yawning—during a certain timeframe each night. Catching her in that window (or even before) will help her avoid becoming overtired.

For example, if you know your baby normally starts acting tired around 7 p.m., consider starting to help her wind down around 6:30 p.m. in order to help prepare her for rest.

Create a calm environment

Throughout the day your baby is experiencing many exciting firsts and constantly learning new things. The best thing we can do for our bodies (even as adults) is to calm down and feel relaxed before sleep.

Some examples of this are reading softly to your baby, singing, rocking her and shooshing in her ear. I also suggest moving bathtime to earlier in the day, at least for little ones; the transition from splashing in the tub to trying to sleep isn’t very natural.

Be as consistent as possible

Once bedtime starts to feel like a natural process, your baby will actually want to go to sleep at this time—amazing right? Although I know (and even encourage) bedtimes will vary on some days, it is important to stick with the routine most of the time. This might mean occasionally leaving a family dinner early to get home or saying no to a late-night activity.

Establishing a bedtime isn't going to happen overnight and there will likely be adjustments made along the way. But once you start to incorporate the routine that works for you and your baby, you are already on your way to a happy and healthy sleeper!

Without camps and back-to-school plans still TBD, the cries of "I'm bored!" seem to be ringing louder than ever this summer. And if you're anything like me, by August, I'm fresh out of boxes to check on my "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys.

With that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite wooden toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


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